IOM Voluntary Humanitarian Returns from Libya Continue as Reintegration Efforts Step up under EU Trust Fund Africa
13 March 2018 – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, announced today that it has assisted 10,171 migrants to return home safely from Libya with support from the European Union, African Union, and the Libyan Government since the scale up of Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) from the country started on 28 November last year. Some 23,302 migrants have returned through IOM’s VHR programme since January 2017.
Nearly half of voluntary humanitarian returns carried out by IOM from Libya are part of a larger EU-IOM joint initiative to protect and assist migrants in need not only in Libya but in 26 countries along the Central Mediterranean Route. This includes crucial support for reintegration of returnees in countries of origin.
IOM Regional Director for the EU, Eugenio Ambrosi, said that the huge protection needs and the scale of returns in the last few months under the VHR operation have overtaken initial planning and pose some additional challenges for countries of origin. He cautioned that the reintegration process is complex and requires time.
“We are embarking on a completely new approach to reintegration and we believe in it. It will take some time to build, and in cooperation with authorities in countries of origin and the local communities, we are already seeing promising developments,” said Ambrosi.